What literacy technique is this from Robert Frost's 'Home Burial'?   "She let him look, sure that he wouldn’t see,  Blind creature; and awhile he didn’t see."   (Lines 15 & 16)

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beateach | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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The literary technique Robert Frost uses in lines 15 and 16 of “Home Burial” is free indirect discourse. Free indirect discourse entails the use of a third person narrator who describes a character’s thoughts and emotions. The poem, “Home Burial,” is a conversation between a man and a woman who have buried a baby. The child is buried in the small family cemetery that is visible from an upstairs window of their home. They carry on a conversation until a third person narrator explains what the woman is thinking in the aforementioned lines. The narrator interrupts the conversation to explain that the woman allows the man to look out the window at the scene that causes her so much anguish saying, "She let him look, sure that he wouldn’t see, Blind creature; and awhile he didn’t see.” The woman thinks he is a “blind creature” meaning that he is incapable of understanding her feelings as she gazes upon the cemetery. Free indirect discourse helps set the mood and tone of the poem by describing a character’s feelings or emotions. The narrator is setting the tone for the conversation as it continues by giving a peak into the woman’s emotional state.

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